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  • Writer's pictureDefne Tangulu

Let's Take a Closer Look at the History of English!

When examining the history of English, we need to go back to the first centuries after Christ. English, which is among the Germanic languages ​​among the world language families, first began to be spoken by the Germanic tribes, who migrated from Northern Europe to the British Isles around the 5th century AD, and are now called Anglo-Saxons. Each of these Anglo-Saxon tribes brought their local dialects to their new homeland, and over time they managed to form a common language. However, it would take almost four more centuries for the Anglo-Saxon language they spoke to be called "English". Moreover, English was only one of the five languages ​​spoken on the island of Britain in those centuries, and it was nothing more than a local language.

It is possible to divide English into several stages in terms of its historical development over time. According to John Beal's classification (English in the World, Routledge, 2012), English history can be divided into 7 phases. These are:

  1. Pre-English / Pre-English – (up to 450 AD)

  2. Early Old English / Early Old English – (450-850)

  3. Late Old English / Later Old English – (850-1100)

  4. Middle English / Middle English – (1100-1450)

  5. Early Modern English / Early Modern English – (1450-1750)

  6. Modern English / Modern English – (1750-1950)

  7. Late Modern English / Late Modern English - (since 1950)

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